Eskilstuna, a town with nearly 68,000 inhabitants, is sending zero rubbish to landfill thanks to a rainbow refuse system. Because nearly all of the Swedish town’s residents signed up to a seven-color-coded recycling system, over half of the town’s waste is being recycled — already ahead of the EU’s 50% target for 2020.
The system means that homes have six colorful bags that separate metal, food, plastics, textiles, cartons, and newspapers, and then a white bag for rubbish, such as diapers and items that can’t be recycled.
At the recycling plant the bags are automatically sorted into different metal containers thanks to their vivid colors. The green bags containing food waste are converted into slurry that creates bio-gas used to fuel the town’s buses.
The other bags are compacted and recycled according to their materials and the plastic bags themselves are also recycled. There are further benefits, too: This kind of recycling necessitates just one garbage collection every few days, which means fewer traffic jams and less pollution and noise.